In Virginia, restaurant inspection reports are not quite as simple as getting a letter grade or an easy-to-see number rating to post in the front window.
With that said, we all want to know how our favorite restaurants stack up on cleanliness and sanitation.
A "critical violation" is one that "poses a direct or immediate threat to the safety of the food being served." Non-critical violations are generally related to cleaning or maintenance.
"Ideally, an operation would have no critical violations, or none which are not corrected immediately and not repeated. In our experience, it is unrealistic to expect that a complex, full-service food operation can routinely avoid any violations," according to the Virginia Department of Health's website.
The site continues: "Keep in mind that any inspection report is a 'snapshot' of the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have fewer or more violations than noted in the report. An inspection conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term cleanliness of an establishment."
In the past month, the following Falls Church restaurants have been inspected by the VDH. The full reports can be accessed on the health department's website.
5860 Columbia Pike #103, Falls Church
Inspected Dec. 12: five critical violations, nine non-critical violations
“Open drinking containers stored in a manner that may contaminate food, food contact surfaces or utensils. CFM removed drinking container.”
3815-A S. George Mason Dr., Falls Church
Inspected Dec. 12: two critical violations, five non-critical violations
“The permit holder has installed a ware washing machine. The current water heater (State CDE 8220 RTA 12kW) does not have the capacity to meet an increase in hourly hot water demands required by the addition of the ware washing machine.”
Las Americas Restaurant
3103 Graham Rd., Falls Church
Inspected Dec. 12: no critical or non-critical violations
“Follow-up to the routine inspection conducted on Dec. 6, 2012 to verify that the oyster delivery contained a shellfish tag and to verify cooling temperatures.”